Buffalo’s NAS Navigator takes the pain out of installation as it locates the appliance and helps with initial setup. Another new feature pops up at this stage as Buffalo has improved its RAID outlook as you now have options to configure the drives as RAID-0, -1 -10, -5 or JBOD arrays. Array creation is a lengthy process as we found a four disk RAID-5 array took seven and a half hours to build.
The improved hardware specification certainly showed its mettle in our performance tests where we pitted a standard Pro model against the Pro II. Running the Iometer utility on a SuperMicro 3.2GHz Pentium D workstation returned a raw read throughput of 15MB/sec for the Pro and 34MB/sec for the Pro II. Real world speeds also saw major improvements as copying a 690MB video file to the appliances and back again saw the Pro deliver read and write speeds of 11MB/sec and 4.2MB/sec, which the Pro II improved these to 18.2MB/sec and 13.8MB/sec respectively. FTP throughput also improved hugely and to test this we used the Windows FTP command line utility. Get and Put commands saw the Pro give read and write speeds of 11MB/sec and 7.2MB/sec whilst the Pro II returned 26.6MB/sec and 16MB/sec for the same tests.
Backup features are extensive as data can be copied across multiple TeraStations on the network using a scheduler, which manages up to up to eight differential or full backup tasks. Basic workstation backup is handled by the bundled Easy Backup utility, which enables users to create scheduled jobs for securing their own local data to the appliance. We’ve always found this tool a tad basic but you also get a single user copy of Memeo’s AutoBackup software. This is a lot more sophisticated as it supports a greater number of backup destinations, offers optional backup encryption and after the first full backup has run will only secure file changes or new files using an agent that runs permanently in the background.
Other features remain the same with the appliance supporting Windows, Linux and Macintosh clients whilst security extends to a local user database along with NT authentication and Active Directory support. Shares are easy enough to create and you can allow global access for specific users and groups and decide whether each can have read only rights or full access.
The TeraStation Pro II doesn’t offer a huge improvement over its predecessor but the faster processor certainly makes it presence felt in the performance stakes, RAID options have been increased and backup facilities look even better.